Co-Founders Brandon Cullen and Kirk Dewaele opened MADabolic’s flagship location in Charlotte, NC in 2011 and began franchising in 2013. As the team was preparing to open its first franchise location, Brandon reflected on how surreal it felt to replicate the brand. What really put the finishing touch on the experience of opening the first franchised location was adding MADabolic’s branding to the studio, including “the girl,” who has been part of MADabolic’s watermark, and made many appearances in mural walls, apparel, and more in the years since.
“She wasn’t just a figure - not a trivial or accidental logo - but rather a representation of the brand, and what it stands for,” wrote Brandon. “In her stance, I could see parts of my own experience - conviction, defeat, resiliency, and strength. Her figure displayed the results of commitment, intensity, and a durability - results only achieved by battling through challenges. Even now, seeing her every single day, when I look at her, I still share in her experience. I can never tell what stage of the battle she is in, but it doesn’t matter. She has become a source of promise in my experience - the foundational piece for my emotional connection to the whole, a motivational aspect in the training, and the most literal face of the brand.”
While MADabolic grew slowly and methodically in the early days, the team has hit its stride, filling a white space in the fitness industry to help clients age athletically through strength-driven interval training. With over 70 locations operating or in development, MADabolic has spent the last decade building out robust resources and systematized processes to help franchisees deliver the MADabolic experience in any market.
As the brand has grown, so has the team behind it. Most recently, that growth has welcomed Fiona, an adaptation of “the girl” from our original MADabolic watermark, to the family. This figure is named after the daughter of Finley Funsten, MADabolic’s Director of Culture and Experience, who has been core to the brand since the early days. Finley started out as a client in Charlotte, became a trainer, then moved into the General Manager role, before taking ownership interest in the studio and joining MADabolic’s corporate team. Finley is also the author of MADabolic’s Nutrition Blueprint and a pillar in the MADabolic community.
“I thought it was only appropriate to name our latest muse after my friend, partner, and teammate Finley’s daughter, Fiona,” shared Brandon. “Not only is the silhouette of Finley performing a Turkish Getup, but I’d be willing to bet Fiona is going to grow up to be a little badass.”
As “Fiona” is phased into MADabolic’s branding and we retire the original icon of “the girl,” it only felt right to give the original graphic a name. We’ll recognize our original graphic as “Ash,” named after the OG MADass, Ashley Mol.
Ashley is Brandon’s little sister and holds a special place in the MAD family. Well beyond being our founder’s little sister, Ashley is the owner of MADabolic Burlington, the only MADabolic studio in Canada. Ashley grew up a multi-sport athlete and has continued to thrive under MADabolic’s intentional training protocol as her life has evolved from NCAA soccer player to MADabolic owner and mother.
Over a decade ago, as MADabolic settled in on its identity, “the girl” (Ash), represented something that made MADabolic stand out. As the brand has evolved and grown, the new icon, “Fiona,” continues to represent strength and so much more behind the brand and the MADabolic experience as we know it today.
Strong is empowering...
Strong is something to strive for, relate to, and embody...